What's BLF Baking these days ?

I made no-knead bread in my cast iron dutch oven the other day . Now I'm looking hard at pizza dough and want to make NY style pizza.

So what's cooking BLF ?

My wife has been baking a couple of dutch oven loaves a week lately and just baked a nice olive loaf with fresh rosemary today. We’ll be starting dough for pizza on Sat in the next day or two.

Also just picked up a new 10” Mercer Millenia bread knife which is an excellent value.

I’ve been making some dutch oven bread as well as some croissants. Recently I’ve been invested in sourdoughs though. Got my starter bubbling away and trying for a first loaf today.

Nothing much…… :rage: had to move on to cakes
No bread flour anywhere for weeks and I am MAD about it! plain just doesn’t ‘do it’
I baked bread almost daily……or I did.
The thing that annoys me the most is most (99%) people never bake bread, ever. I can see all that flour stock piled away and never being used, most likely it will go in the bin full of weevils.
Sour dough, I’d recommend some ‘San Francisco’ starter - you can get it online. Apparently it’s the best. Mines been going 7 years on and off.

I made my first soda bread ever because I couldn’t find the yeast. :laughing:

I only have plain white flour and I wanna try making bread. Is it absolutely critical to have bread flour or can I somehow use plain flour? I found my yeast now so I’m all set to make bread. :slight_smile:

My wife likes Bob’s Red Mill flours. Can’t find them anywhere.

No plain flour here either, pandemic psychology is crazy stuff :person_facepalming:

yes, youtube link this is for sourdough in particular, but i’m sure you’ll be fine with other bread types too.

Hey thanks and it so happens that I’m eating sourdough bread nowadays. It’s the one that’s baked at the store. I read that even though it white sourdough it’s still good for you vs plain old white bread which I never eat anyways. Plus sourdough bread’s more dense and chewy too. :slight_smile:

The only thing I bake is frozen pizzas.

(I don't cook very much.)

Yay I got some flour…………from AMAZON?!? :person_facepalming: Who’d have thought it - some clever miller bypassed the supermarkets and put it on there!
£14.99 for 16kg of proper bread flour.
I read somewhere the problem is with supply is the bags - supermarkets insist it’s in 1kg bags and the suppliers can only bag so much a day that way. They said if the supermarkets accepted 16kg bags they would fill the shelves tomorrow….
As soon as it arrives I’ll re-awaken the sourdough in the fridge!
Oh, and yes, plain flour is fine for keeping the sourdough alive, or baking bread - it just won’t be quite so good/raised is all.

Here flour is so popular that Robin Hood ran out of their yellow packaging. :D


I thought this thread was about baking flashlight anodizing… since it’s not, here’s today’s goodie just waiting for some jam.

Nice to see some bakers! Hopefully……my 16kg bag will be here today. I’m getting withdrawal symptoms now.
pc_light - is that a loaf or a cake? if it’s a loaf I think something went wrong :wink: it could be for a number of reasons. Doesn’t matter though, it’s still lovely fresh or toasted/heated. Or maybe it’s a different kind of bread entirely? soda maybe?
It can be frustrating making bread, I have been there lol - but stick with it please, it’s very rewarding for you and friends/family - especially now. People love a fresh loaf or some buns! I used to make my Nan ‘Chelsea Buns’ regularly, but since she died a few years ago, i cannot face or want to make them :frowning:
I have been baking for many years now, and since it’s the best recipe ever, I thought I would share with you all.
I have tried hundreds of recipes - this one every time comes out fantastic.
I don’t hand knead the first bit, i do it it in a Kenwood chef. 1 minute on lvl 4, 4 minutes on level 1. Done.
The second knead i do by hand. DO NOT skip the butter bit, it takes the longest, but makes a difference.

Ballymaloe white yeast bread - by Darina Allen

The bread that was made in my home was always soda bread, so it wasn’t until I went to school in Cathal Brugha Street in Dublin that I learned the skill of making white yeast bread. Later I brought it to Ballymaloe House and they’ve been making it there ever since. This dough can be used to make rolls, loaves, breadsticks and all manner of bread shapes. .

Makes 2 x 450g (1lb) loaves (or 1 big one)

425ml (¾ pint) lukewarm water
20g (¾oz) fresh yeast
700g (1½ lb) strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
2 teaspoons salt
10g (½oz) sugar
25g (1oz) butter
Egg wash and poppy or sesame
Seeds for topping (optional)

2 x loaf tins 12.5cm (5in) x 20cm (8in)

Put 150ml (¼ pint) of tepid water into a Pyrex measure. Crumble in the fresh yeast and leave in a warm place for about 2–3 minutes. Sieve together the flour, salt and sugar in a large, wide mixing bowl. Then rub in the butter (looks like tiny breadcrumbs) and make a well in the centre. Pour in the yeast mixture and most of the remaining lukewarm water. Mix to a loose dough, adding the remaining water or a little extra flour as needed.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, cover and leave to relax for about 5 minutes. Then knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth, springy and elastic (if kneading in a food mixer with a dough hook, 5 minutes is usually long enough). Put the dough into a large bowl and cover the top tightly with clingfilm. Yeast dough rises best in a warm moist atmosphere; 27°C (80.5°F) is optimum, but a slower rising is preferable to one that is too fast.

After about 1½–2 hours, when the dough has more than doubled in size, knead it again for about 2–3 minutes to redistribute the yeast in contact with the dough so it will have a more even crumb. Cover and leave to relax for a further 10 minutes.

Shape the bread into loaves, plaits or rolls, then transfer to a baking tray and cover with a light tea towel. Leave to rise again in a warm place, until the shaped dough has again doubled in size (about 20–30 minutes).

Preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F/gas mark 8.

The bread is ready for baking when a small dent remains if the dough is pressed lightly with the finger. Brush with water and dust with flour for a rustic looking loaf or brush with egg wash and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds for a more golden crust.

The bread will rise a little further when it goes into the oven – this is called ‘oven-spring’. Bake for 25–35 minutes, depending on size. When baked, the bread should sound hollow if tapped underneath. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

G0OSE, it’s wholewheat bread hence the darker color. The bumps and ridges are from my dull knife dragging instead of cutting across the top while I tried to score the bread before popping it into the oven. The insides looked (and tasted) prettier than the outside, I should have taken a photo of the nice crumb inside but it’s all gone now :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for the tips, I will definitely give the Ballymaloe bread a try, it’s always fun to try new recipes. Hopefully it will turn out ok with any adjustments I need to make (such as dry yeast instead of fresh, etc.)

Today’s baking treat are a couple loafs using white flour instead of wholewheat. Ignore the funny looking patches some of the filling popped out of the sausage rolls.

Yum! I’ve baked every day since my 16kg bag arrived! I made french sticks yesterday and this the day before-

Today no bread but lemon victoria sponge!
If using that balymoe recipe and dried fast yeast (the tiny stuff) use 10.5g

Wow those are nice loafs yum yum! I would of thought those were store bought. :smiley:
I’m gonna attempt my first bread loaf this weekend. I’m wanting to make Old cheddar bread.
For the cheddar part, I was thinking…

1) shred cheddar and mix with dry flour
2) proceed with the usual mix and wait and then bake

I’m wanting the cheddar to be evenly mixed when the bread comes out of oven. Is is ok to do it this way?

Make your mix without cheese, mix it up and rest for 40 mins.
Put the cheddar in on the second knead there is a risk the extra salt will affect the rising, then let it settle for 10/15 mins, then shape into loaf, then leave 45 mins (ish) .
Always keep salt/yeast apart (obviously they mix in the end) but definitely don’t let them touch at first or the yeast will be killed too quick.
10 mins from end put grated cheddar on top. Make sure the loaf is nearly cooked first or it’ll drop.
I have been making bread for years and that Ballymaloe white yeast bread recipe rules lol! Never had a bad one since I used it.

Bread is EASY to make but it’s a bugger to master! when you get into it, it’s quite upsetting when things go wrong - but at least you know why when you’ve made 100’s of loaves!
At first it seems a mystery! too much/too little rising/mixing/dry/wet etc
Generally the wetter the better - but the dough HAS to be right for wetter (window panes - google) , as it’ll spread everywhere if not. Drier you can get away with, but it’ll be a worse crumb/texture……and so on……
If you over prove it may collapse, if you under prove it’ll be great fresh/toasted but no good next day.
Mixing… if you under mix the gluten doesn’t evolve, if you over mix you destroy the gluten.
All a very fine balancing act to get it ‘just right’ - but that will come with experience. I hope you enjoy it, I do greatly.
My top tip is put a big mug of cold water (or ice cubes) in the bottom of the oven right before you put the loaf in - this makes steam and helps stop the crust forming so quick and hence a better rise, it’s also more crispy.

G0OSE - thanks for the substitution info.

For the sausage roll, after the first rise, I slightly flatten into a rectangular shape then spread the filling on top. Then slowly fold the end over (or roll) so that the filling stays inside. Slightly press any seams and place underneath for the final proof rise before bake. It’s still fairly evenly spread using this role method.

I prefer this method over mixing into the dough to minimize any filling (especially cheese) being exposed and burning during bake. Even using the roll method some of the filling manages to pop out (as you can see from the photo).

Happy baking (and eating!)